Travel Diary: EPT Copenhagen

ept-thumb-promo.jpgCopenhagen had been on my to-do list for quite some time, so to find out I was covering the EPT there was like a blessing in disguise. I knew it wasn't going to be warm and word on the street was that is was quite an expensive place, but that aside, my instincts were correct and I found Copenhagen a delightful city and really enjoyed my time there.

Once I had unpacked and rested up, I threw the layers on, including some furry earmuffs to get me ready for my day out in this capital city of Denmark. The Radisson Scandinavian was where we were staying and where the EPT was taking place. It was only a short walk away from the heart of the city, and as we walked into town I loved the fact the streets were named after the fairytale novelist Hans Christian Andersen.

In fact, the more we explored Copenhagen the more it seemed to feel as if we were in a fairytale ourselves. Nyhaven in particular was an old port that had been converted into a hipper spot with many bars and restaurants, and it was here where Hans Christian Andersen used to live. We found his house, where he lived in the 1800s, which you can see in our welcome video, but it was now used for offices.


Yes, sirs, we're looking for a mermaid

We also trekked for quite some time to see The Little Mermaid also inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story. She was on the north side of the city and was not so easy to find. After getting lost in the estate of a castle and trapped on the island surrounded by a moat, I felt as if I was back in medieval times protecting my land, until my cameraman spotted a small gathering people and we realized we needed to get off the island to where these people were, as they were clearly looking at something and there was a high chance it was our mermaid.

The mermaid herself had a sad face, for she wasn't just little but she was extremely unhappy with not having legs to escape her seaside spot. It has now inspired me to read 'The Little Mermaid' once again now that I had seen Christiansen's inspiration. Or, come to think about it, perhaps I would just watch the Disney film.

Anyway, you can watch our video we made which not only includes our lovely little mermaid and home of Hans Christian Andersen, but also the worlds longest pedestrianized shopping street (I really had to hold myself together there) and some other picturesque spots in the heart of Copenhagen.

One place I really wanted to visit, but we were unable to film was Christiania. So we did take a trip there though it is not in our video. What began as a social experience in the 70s, has now developed into a self-managed community or free-town, where 650 adults and 200 children live, just a 10 minute walk from the city centre. It attracts a lot of people who do not feel that they belong in the outside society, but you will find all kinds of people living there or visiting. I found it a very interesting place to see and imagine it might be really cool to go back in the summer time when there are live acts playing on the outside music stage and all the colors there come alive in the light. There's an ongoing battle between Christiania and the government about the future, which has yet to be decided.

I was expecting a fast and aggressive pace of poker at Copenhagen, which seemed obvious given the strength of the nation at the game. I had decided to interview PokerStars Team online player Mickey Petersen on Day 1b as he seemed to be doing well at the time, even though it was only day 1. I followed Mickey and Pierre Neuville (Belgian PokerStars Team Pro) right from the start as I interviewed both of them early. I like to keep following people I have been interviewing and chatting with. So, it did seem to come as quite the surprise to see both of them at the final table from the 299 total player field. The final table though was a great mix of players, combining a few aggressive Scandis with these two, along with EPT London runner up Steve O'Dwyer.

Mid-week, of course we always have a little evening time to spare to find the PokerStars party and let our hair down. This EPT was no different. I found the Danish a very laid back and fun bunch, much like the Dutch in fact, so enjoyed having a chat with various players and journalists at the party. Here's our video!

The final table did not disappoint as the chip lead changed spots a number of times. When it became four-handed and Pierre Neuville became extremely short-stacked, we all thought he would be next to go. However he held on and soon enough he had doubled up and again and two other players had been eliminated to leave himself and Mickey Petersen.

Whatever way we looked at it, PokerStars had this one down with a Team Pro and Team Online left heads up. It could have been either player as both remained quite evenly stacked and changed the chip lead several times again. This heads-up battle was not going anywhere. It lasted for six hours and eventually Pierre got worn down and had to surrender.

The young had overcome the old and Mickey's stamina and unrelenting aggression had paid off. What a worthy winner he was. Pierre was overheard saying afterwards "next time, it will be mine" and for his sake, I hope this rings true. Here's our winner interview: